The second book that was influential in shaping my "what’s next" is Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life.
First, a little about me and my life planning history. I’ve written New Year’s Resolutions since second grade, had a planner in fifth grade and used the Franklin Planning System – paper, of course – as a high school freshman. So, when my best friend of 37 years recommended a book in the planning realm, I immediately asked AmazonPrime to deliver it to my doorstep.
Book #2: Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dale Evans.
I have always – perhaps like many of you – set goals in categories or roles. The areas shifted slightly from year to year, but keeping my personal and professional categories mutually exclusive has been steadfast. My goal categories looked something like this: Career, Family, Faith, Volunteer, Friend, Self.
Designing Your Life suggested a new paradigm. The authors ask you to look at your life in four areas:
1. Health (mind, body, spirit)
2. Work (stuff to reach your goals)
3. Love (relationships)
4. Play (just for fun)
I tried setting goals in these areas. It was different than what I’d done for the past 30 years. I appreciated the perspective that Work is doing stuff to reach your goals. Nothing more; nothing less. It might be something you enjoy or it might not be particularly enjoyable. But it removed the notion that Work was limited to your career. Cleaning the house and running errands is absolutely Work. I now appreciate seeing “get snacks and Gatorade for baseball tourney” next to “write next blog post” on my Work Task List. Both areas of my life have goals, goals take work, and work must be done.
The author’s framework scraps the professional vs personal divide and with it fades the notion they’re competing or opposing. This seemingly minor shift in categorization had a profound effect on my thinking. Life’s aspirations are a whole, not split unnaturally into pieces of work or personal, work or family, work or fun. The framework from this book looks at life in a way that works for Dawn Celeste Zerbs. Thank you, Bill Burnett and Dale Evans.
How do you think about and set goals for yourself? Your organization(s)?
I look forward to hearing from you.